About Us



The Misinformation, Disinformation & False News in Africa Research Project is led by Dani Madrid-Morales (University of Houston) and Herman Wasserman (University of Cape Town). It compares the spread and reception of "fake news" across the continent, and investigates how it affects journalism.
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Our Projects



We have a series of cross-national comparative projects that use different research methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups, experiments). In addition to academic publications, we also share our findings with the wider public through interviews with the media, and by publishing accessible pieces online.
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Useful Resources



With research on "fake news", disinformation and misinformmation on the rise, there's a lot of excellent resources, studies and databases being made available regularly by scholars, NGOs and media houses worldwide. We keep a list of some these resources, particularly those related to African countries.
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Meet the UCT prof fighting fake news on the global frontline

Herman Wasserman is a hunter, but not the sort that carries a rifle. Wasserman has become one of Africa’s foremost fake news hunters. In the age of disinformation, his experience and ethics are increasingly sought after on the continent and beyond. A University of Cape Town professor, with laser-beam...

Motivations for Sharing Misinformation: Study explores factors for sharing misinformation in six sub-Saharan African countries

In most African countries, “fake news,” politically motivated disinformation, and misinformation in the media were common occurrences before these became a preoccupation in the Global North. However, with a fast-growing population of mobile users, and the popularization of apps such as WhatsApp, misinformation has become much more pervasive across...

UCT’s Herman Wasserman leads global study on disinformation

Article by Carla Bernardo Professor Herman Wasserman from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS) will embark on an international study on the information disorder in the Global South, with funds of approximately R4.5 million from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The scoping study aims...

Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters

To contain and mitigate the virus of misinformation needs multi-levelled, socio-cultural approaches. GettyImages Herman Wasserman, University of Cape Town The prevalence of disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic has prompted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that: We’re not just fighting an epidemic;...

DisinfoAfrica’s Herman Wasserman addressed first WHO infodemiology conference

Professor Herman Wasserman one of the project leaders of DisninfoAfrica delivered a keynote address at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first infodemiology conference. The 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference, as the name suggests, deals with the phenomenon of an ‘infodemic’. According to the WHO, an infodemic is an “overabundance of...

Resources on Fact Checking COVID-19-related Misinformation

Many African fact-checking organizations have been making sure that misinformation related to COVID-19 on social media does not go unchecked. There are several very useful resources that are regularly upated with examples of inaccurate or false posts circulating on social media. Here is a rolling list of some of...

[News Story] WhatsApp Viral Messages ‘Drop 70%’ According to the Company

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after users and governments complained about the amount of misinformation circulating on WhatsApp, the platform announced new measures to curb the virality of messages. Now, WhatsApp says that it has sseen a reduction of 70% in viral messages. There’s been several...